Sample Paper on Biblical Perspectives of Exodus 1-4

Biblical Perspectives of Exodus 1-4

In accordance to the perspective of E sources, a closer look at connotations of Exodus 1 through 4, Chapter 1 mainly gave much attention to the anger that the then Pharaoh had on the increasing population of the Israelites on the land of Egypt. This layer is keen to mention some of the names of the midwives who refused to kill the male children of the Israelites[1]. This layer also reveals to us the respect and fear that the midwives of Egypt had to the God of Israel. This notion is postulated at the point when they decide not to kill the male born children of the Israelites on the disguise that these women were vigorous and would bear the children before reaching the midwives[2]. One important issue about this layer is that it unravels the threat that the Israelites posse on the Egyptians. verse one is keen to give an account on the high level of productivity in terms of child bearing that these people have over the Egyptians. It therefore accentuates that the Israelite women are more fertile that the Egyptian women. The immenseness of God’s guidance to his people is also revealed at the point where even the midwives of Egypt are aware of God’s greatness such that they afraid of Him.

It is through this E layer that we get to understand the relationship between the Egyptians and the Israelites. Even though the current pharaoh was not aware of the contribution of the Israelites, this story connects well with the book of Genesis where the rescue of Egyptians from famine by Joseph the Egyptian is told. Moving on to chapter three in the E layer of book of exodus, more emphasis is laid on the adult age of Moses and his mission to rescue the Israelites from pharaoh. It should be noted that the childhood perspective of Moses is not told in this layer to give way to the explanation of his main mission as instructed by God. From chapter 1-4 of Exodus as postulated in the E layer, it is evident that the core story here is the fact that the Israelites were posing a big threat to the Egyptians due to their increasing population[3]. Being weary of this, the then Pharaoh instructed the midwives to kill the male newly born children of the Israelites living in Egypt. In reaction to this God makes chooses Moses and with help of Aaron, they go back to Egypt to rescue them[4]. The core of the story is not based on the life of Moses and his calling since we are not given the historical background of Moses. Additionally, the core story is not about how oppressive the Egyptians were on the Israelites since it does not reveal the kinds of torcher these individuals went through. These tents are clearly revealed in the J version of Exodus.

The J version creates comprehensive outlook on the composition of the whole context of oppression of the Israelites. In addition to connotations of threats as postulated by the E layer, the J now places the acts of oppression in its immediate context. In this prospect, it gives much attention to the notion of forced labor, building towers and becoming quite ruthless in treatment of the Egyptians. In so doing, the layer provides a clear platform for organizational context of the Egyptians to oppress the Israelites. Moving on, it is through the perspective of the J layer that we get to understand next action of Pharaoh after they had been disappointed by the midwives where he decided to order the killing of the first born sons of Israelites[5]. By adding this part, this layer is keen to give much attention to the oppressive actions leveled against the Israelites by the Egyptians. The revelation of the early life of Moses and the rescue plan for the Egyptians shows the manifestation of God’s long term plan for rescue. The fact that the God chose Moses for this task and yet he had been in Egypt as pharaoh son shows the preparation that he underwent before meeting his destiny. In summary, the core of J layer of Exodus mainly adds on the oppression that the Egyptians had on the Israelites. It explains in details the type of suffering they went through and reveals the long term plan of God to rescue them through Moses[6].

The E+J+P now summarily blends both the rescue impunity and oppression that the Egyptians subjected the Israelites and the kind of rescue plan that God had for them. Some critical points are revealed in this blend of layer such as the voluntary escape of the Egyptians even before Pharaoh released them. The correlation between these scriptures shows that indeed both the oppressive nature and rescue plan was explicitly revealed. The overall might works of God is perfectly revealed in this blend as it gives more weight to the initial plan of God for Moses. The description about the burning fire and the explanation of the mighty miracles that God gives Moses provides the platform for supremacy of God in the blend.


Work Cited

Greenberg, Moshe. Understanding Exodus. Vol. 1. New York: Behrman House, 1969.


[1]15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,

[2] Greenberg, Moshe. Understanding Exodus. Vol. 1. New York: Behrman House, 1969

[3] Chapter 1 verse 9 He said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are mightier and more powerful than we.

[4] Chapter 3 verse 10 So come, I will send you to the King of Egypt to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

[5]22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every boy that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every girl live.”

[6]Greenberg, Moshe. Understanding Exodus. Vol. 1. New York: Behrman House, 1969